新书出版预告 | 《手作像素》Handmade Pixels by Jesper Juul

An investigation of independent video games—creative, personal, strange, and experimental—and their claims to handcrafted authenticity in a purely digital medium.

Video games are often dismissed as mere entertainment products created by faceless corporations. The last twenty years, however, have seen the rise of independent, or “indie,” video games: a wave of small, cheaply developed, experimental, and personal video games that react against mainstream video game development and culture. In Handmade Pixels, Jesper Juul examine the paradoxical claims of developers, players, and festivals that portray independent games as unique and hand-crafted objects in a globally distributed digital medium.

Juul explains that independent video games are presented not as mass market products, but as cultural works created by people, and are promoted as authentic alternatives to mainstream games. Writing as a game player, scholar, developer, and educator, Juul tells the story of how independent games—creative, personal, strange, and experimental—became a historical movement that borrowed the term “independent” from film and music while finding its own kind of independence.

Juul describes how the visual style of independent games signals their authenticity—often by referring to older video games or analog visual styles. He shows how developers use strategies for creating games with financial, aesthetic, and cultural independence; discusses the aesthetic innovations of “walking simulator” games; and explains the controversies over what is and what isn’t a game. Juul offers examples from independent games ranging from Dys4ia to Firewatch; the text is richly illustrated with many color images.


本书以独立游戏的创作及其创作目标为主题,因大部分独立游戏都是以像素风格呈现的,书名便名之以“手作像素”(Handmade Pixels)。作者通过采访包括乔纳森·布洛(Jonathan Blow)在内的多位知名独立游戏开发者,展现并分析诸如《看火人》(Firewatch)、《时空幻境》(Braid)、《焦虑》(Dys4ia)等独立游戏的创作历程与美学风格,由此来挖掘独立游戏的特性:独立游戏不是大众市场的消费品,而是人民创造的文化作品,作为文化产品而言,独立游戏或与独立电影/音乐一样,高举反现代主义的旗帜,来实现它们所追求的纯正风格;尽管独立游戏诞生于数字时代,但它却又确确实实是独一无二的“手工制品”。

  • 什么是独立游戏?相比独立电影/音乐,独立游戏的“独立”之处是什么?
  • 一款游戏为什么会被当作独立游戏?独立游戏与商业的距离有多远?
  • 独立游戏开发者手工艺人或工匠的感觉一样?
  • 本书围绕各种奇怪又新颖的创意独立游戏展开,讨论这些奇怪游戏背后的新奇点子,以及其所追求的纯粹与真实。

作者 Author

杰斯珀·尤尔系身兼游戏玩家、游戏学者、游戏开发者、游戏评论家和教育家的多重身份,出版过多本游戏研究向作品,还在MIT Press主编了游戏向丛书Playful Thinking,在游戏史和独立游戏的开发与研究上,有丰富的积累。

本书简体中文版由恒先文化引进出版,预计于 2025 年初上市,敬请期待!

评价 Praise

“Juul’s fascinating and provocative argument about the recent history and culture of independent games is grounded in his deep knowledge and personal experience of the indie game world. With a nuanced view of the network of cultural factors around independent games, this book is an essential addition to the library of everyone interested in the history and aesthetics of digital games.”
– Richard Lemarchand, Associate Professor, USC Games; former lead game designer for Uncharted


——理查德·莱马钱德(Richard Lemarchand)


“Handmade Pixels traces the history and cultural topography of independent games. By framing the medium as a cultural crusade for authenticity, it achieves the near-impossible: a single theory to unify myriad contested histories written by a diverse and competing array of artist and entrepreneurs. It is a fascinating read.”
Bennett Foddy, Associate Arts Professor at the NYU Game Center; designer of QWOP and Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy


——贝内特·福迪(Bennett Foddy)
纽约大学游戏中心艺术副教授,QWOP和Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy设计师

“Jesper Juul provides us a thoughtful discussion of all of ‘our’ games, and a fresh portrait of the context in which they have come to exist and thrive. Juul’s thoughtful interviews and focus on a broad range of independent festival winners creates a specific narrative understanding of an independent game movement that breaks the rules, follows the path, builds new precedents, hearkens back to its roots, and forms the most important and creative elements of the industry. Handmade Pixels is a unique look at the independent games that represent important cultural markers and provide the creative firepower that moves the industry forward.”
Stephanie Barish, IndieCade Founder & CEO


——斯蒂芬妮·巴里什(Stephanie Barish),IndieCade创始人兼首席执行官

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